At AS and A level, students follow the AQA Media Studies course and are taught to apply and develop their understanding of the media through both analysing and producing media products. Students are required to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of Media Language, Media Industries, Audiences and Representation. These areas are explored through a range of contemporary and pre-1970 Media including television, film, radio, newspapers, magazines, advertising, music video and video games, as well as through online, social and participatory media.
Students that have previously studied the media at GCSE level will find that the course extends their pre-existing media knowledge through the requirement that they study at least one media product produced for a non-English speaking audience and at least one produced outside the commercial mainstream. The course also includes study of contrasting media products that possess cultural, social and historical significance.
Depth of study and academic rigour is also presented through engagement with complex media theories including structuralism, postmodernism and theories around ethnicity and postcolonialism. Across the course students will enjoy rich and challenging opportunities for interpretation and in-depth critical analysis of media texts. Students will be led to develop a detailed understanding and, indeed, interest in how the media communicate meanings and how audiences respond.
A minimum of 5 GCSE passes at grade 5 or above is preferred. There is no requirement for students embarking on an AS or A level in media studies to have previously taken a GCSE media studies course. However, the demand for high levels of literacy and analytical skill means that students would be expected to have demonstrated through GCSE English that they possess the requisite skills for post-16 study of the subject.
AS Assessment Paper 1- Written examination of 2hrs 30 mins
This assesses understanding of the conceptual framework of the subject and the media products that students have engaged in. Students respond to a mixture of multiple choice, short answer and extended response questions. This makes up 70% of the AS Level.
Non exam assessment: Students apply their conceptual knowledge and use practical skills to produce a media product made for an intended audience. This constitutes 30% of AS Level assessment.
A2 Assessment involves two written examinations together constituting 70% of the A Level and students complete a non-exam assessment involving the production of crossmedia products (30% of A2).
Recommended support materials and revision guides
There is a course book that can be purchased at the start of the course and there are a variety of revision guides available. Students are also encouraged to use the media journals in our library.
What can I do after I’ve completed the course?
Media studies naturally leads to careers in journalism, marketing, advertising or public relations. But an awareness of how the world of media works can also support other careers in business, social work, law, medicine and education.